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The Star Lifecycle

The Beginnings
The development of a star begins
with the nebula, a swirling cloud of
interstellar gas and dust molecules
Because of gravitational attraction,
dense parts of the nebula become
more dense. These high density
areas can unite into a tightly packed
object called a protostar
Gravitational collapse

Protostar
As the protostar collects more
material and becomes denser the
temperature and pressure of its core
increases.
When the inner temperature reaches
~ 10 million degrees Celsius, a
nuclear reaction ensues
The fusion of Hydrogen atoms into an
atom of Helium

Star Continued
The fusion of H into He releases a vast
amount of energy. This energy is radiated
in many forms (visible light and heat!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg_
DOM1OQoo
This fusion causes the accretion process
to stop, and the accretion disk will
coalesce into planets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=encWo_Jf6Ik

The bright spot is a new star ignit

Main Sequence Star


The newly formed star will burn
hydrogen for billions of years
Our sun is in this phase (our sun is
4.5 billion years old, about halfway
through its main sequence)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
2U3ucaVzRqQ

Balancing act
The incredible weight of all the gas
and gravity try to collapse the star
on its core.
As long as there is a nuclear reaction
taking place, the internal forces will
balance the external gravitational
forces.

Red Giant
When a star is low on hydrogen, fusion
slows, and the stars core begins to collapse
The collapse causes the core to heat up,
eventually reaching a temperature hot
enough to start fusing He atoms together
into Carbon.
Increased temp causes increased fusion
rates, thus the outer layers will experience
more pressure and GREATLY expand as a
result

Death of Stars Like the Sun


When the He fuel runs out the core begins to
collapse, and increase in temperature,
causing the fusion of some heavier elements.
Star has expanded so much that it doesnt
have the gravity to hold its outer layers
becomes planetary nebula
The core expands and cools, no longer
undergoing fusion (but is still extremely hot).
It glows white
white dwarf.

97% of stars in the


Milky Way will
die in this
manner
The White Dwarf
will eventually cool
down to the
temperature of the
surrounding space
Black dwarf

Death of a Massive Star


When He runs out
the star begins to
fuse heavier
elements
The heavier the
element the less
energy produced.
Iron is the heaviest
element that
produces energy

Supernova
Once the core becomes iron, the star has
no more fuel, and can no longer support
its own weight, thus collapsing on itself
The core becomes so tightly packed that
protons and electrons merge to form
neutrons.
The outer layers of the star fall inward on
the neutron core, thereby crushing it
further.

Supernova
The core heats to billions of degrees
and explodes (supernova), thereby
releasing large amounts of energy
and material into space.
The energy of the collapse and
explosion is great enough to cause
fusion of heavier elements! (Heavier
then Iron)
https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Bwqp

Aftermath
The remains of the core can form
aneutron staror ablack
holedepending upon the mass of the
original star.
Neutron starsare the densest and
smalleststarsknown to exist in the
universe; with a radius of only about
1013 km, they can have a mass of
two Suns! (there is no more fusion)

Neutron Stars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=ZW3aV7U-aik

Black Hole
With some SUPER massive stars the
gravitational force can be so high that
the core of the star can collapse into a
singularity, a point of near infinite mass
and gravity, known as a black hole
The gravity surrounding a black hole is
so great that light cant even escape!
(how we know they exist) why its
called black hole

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
80HkL3EF2tc
https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTHnes
ICCmY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=sNXelB6gIzQ